Co/Create Winner Profile - Illustrator Okereafor Aanu
Okereafor Aanu was born and raised in Abeokuta, Nigeria. The youngest of three sons, he was heavily into comics and at around 10 years old, began drawing his own. As he grew up, his love of comics expanded to gaming, citing his favorites as League of Legions, Clash of Clans and Call of Duty.
His brothers went on to pursue careers in engineering and academia, but Aanu stayed focused on art and his love of video games. He pursued a degree in Art at Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), in the ancient city of ile-ife, where he is still studying and concentrating on graphics and flash art. Aanu works primarily in Abode Creative Suite and has worked with a myriad of gaming and Web3 companies around the world, bringing his vibrant-comic-style to each project.
Aanu found us in the incipient days of our Co/Create initiative, trying his hand at visualizing the backstory of Jora Andreevich. Our team was wowed by his fundamental skills and how he brought the character of Jora to life with his visual depictions.
We are endlessly grateful Aanu found StoryCo and this Co/Create opportunity in particular and that he will forever be our inaugural winner. Aanu is the quintessential caliber of artist who should be duly platformed and championed in the legacy Hollywood system, yet has been left out due to limited access to the complicated, relationship-based, geographically-tied system.
We hope that this credit will be the first of many as Aanu grows as an artist and builds a reputation as as talented an illustrator as any in the world.
Aanu's Creative Process
After winning the “Jora Andreevich Backstory Artwork” Co/Create, Aanu collaborated with our creative team to produce exceptional supplementary panel illustrations that brings to life the backstory of the deeply complex character of Jora Andreevich.
He submitted a series of hand-drawn sketches to storyboard the beats of the backstory as they'd appear in the story consumption experience. See a few of these initial sketches below:
Aanu then rendered these initial sketches digitally, adding vibrant color and detail to seamlessly and effectively complement the creative vision and leadership of shelby and sandy, his classic comic book art-flare melding perfectly with the vibrant pop-art style of the brothers.
Below are three of Aanu's finished comic panels he created from the sketches, which he colored and rendered digitally based on our feedback:
Click here to view Aanu's panels as a "Story Branch" from Chapter 1 of THE DISCO BALL experience.
You can view Aanu's entire submission to the "Jora Andrevic Backstory" Co/Create here:
To learn more about Co/Create and view all the current Co/Create opportunities, visit Story.co/create.